Ministers are set for a showdown with Tory rebels over the Immigration Bill after it was confirmed a crucial amendment backed by restive backbenchers will be debated in the Commons.
The amendment, supported by dozens of Tory MPs, would give ministers rather than judges the final say over whether deportation would breach the human rights of foreign criminals.
Commons Speaker John Bercow selected the amendment tabled by Esher and Walton MP Dominic Raab in the first group for debate, meaning there will be time for a vote.
Home Secretary Theresa May tried to appease potential rebels last night by unveiling proposals that would mean terror suspects can be stripped of British citizenship even if it leaves them stateless.
Mr Raab raised concerns that the Government was attempting to swamp his "commonsense" proposal by tabling a slew of its own amendments to the Bill.
Mr Raab told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I'm not trying to get into the totemics of Europe or pull out of Europe or scrap the Human Rights Act. I'm just trying to fix a problem."
Prime Minister David Cameron has sought to minimise the rebellion by stressing he shares his MPs' concerns about the behaviour of the European courts.
And former Tory leader Lord Howard urged the party to show "discipline" and avoid a damaging split on the issue, stressing that winning the general election outright next year was the overriding goal.
"What is needed in this stage of the parliament is a degree of self-discipline by Conservative backbenchers," he told Today.
"It is very important, I think, that we present the Conservative Party as a united party in the run-up to the election."
Lord Howard said the legislation, as proposed, would make it easier to deport criminals.
He stressed there were problems with the activities of the European courts on human rights issues, but cautioned against "confrontation for confrontation's sake".
More than 200 foreign criminals successfully challenge deportation on human rights grounds every year, with around 90% relying on the ''right to private and family life'' set out under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Raab's amendment would see the Home Secretary - rather than the courts - have the final say on whether an offender's family links are strong enough to allow them to avoid deportation.
Foreign criminals who can prove they face torture, ill-treatment or death in their home country will still be able to overturn deportation orders under separate human rights measures.
Mr Raab admitted there was a "risk" that the Government would face action from the European Court of Human Rights, but insisted the measure should not breach the rules because of allowances for exceptional circumstances.
Alongside Mr Raab's plan, around 40 Conservatives are expected to support an amendment tabled by Nigel Mills which calls on the Government to reinstate restrictions on migrants from Romania and Bulgaria working in Britain until the end of 2018.
The amendment has been selected by Mr Bercow in the second group for debate, meaning it too could potentially be voted on.
Mr Mills, Conservative MP for Amber Valley, attempted to have labour market restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians extended before they were lifted on January 1.
Mr Cameron rushed through new measures to ensure EU migrants are unable to claim out-of-work benefits for their first three months in the UK, but this was not enough to satisfy Mr Mills and his backers.
Human rights campaigners have branded Mrs May's move to strip people of their British citizenship an "alarming development" which gives the Home Secretary power to "tear up people's passports without any need for ... due process".
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made clear he backs Mrs May's last-minute amendment.
The Liberal Democrat leader told LBC 97.3 radio's Call Clegg show: "Theresa May has announced - I know it's controversial but I think it's justifiable - that in a very, very, very small number of cases, people who have taken up British citizenship but pose a real, real threat to the security of this country, that that citizenship can be revoked."
The Home Secretary already has the power to take away British citizenship from those with dual nationality, but this change would allow her to make people stateless if they have been naturalised as a British citizen.
The Home Office insists powers to make British citizens stateless will be used sparingly and in strict accordance with the UK's international obligations.
Immigration minister Mark Harper said: "Those who threaten this country's security put us all at risk. This Government will take all necessary steps to protect the public.
"Citizenship is a privilege, not a right. These proposals will strengthen the Home Secretary's powers to ensure that very dangerous individuals can be excluded if it is in the public interest to do so."
One of the highest-profile cases involving statelessness concerns Hilal al-Jedda, who fled from Iraq to the UK in 1992 as a refugee from Saddam Hussein's regime. He won asylum and in 2000 was granted British nationality.
He returned to Iraq in 2004 where he came under suspicion of involvement in terrorism and in 2007 was stripped of his British nationality.
Al-Jedda, who now lives in Turkey, has since been fighting the move through a series of legal appeals.
Last October, Supreme Court judges ruled that it was illegal to make him stateless. Despite this ruling, the Home Secretary stripped al-Jedda of his UK citizenship for a second time last month.